It’s safe to say that Jason Grilli can be called a journeyman. Over the course of 10 big-league seasons, the 36-year-old has played for six major league teams and countless minor league stops, finding intermittent success along the way.
However, in 2012 Grilli probably had the best season of his career, his second with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over the course of 58 2/3 innings, the reliever struck out 90 batters and held opponents to a 2.90 ERA. But despite that success, Grilli didn’t necessarily follow the most money when he re-signed with the Bucs, nor did he stay for the chance to win, apparently.
“All of that [comfort, family] was a bigger factor than … trying to go somewhere where I felt that, you know, you might even have a chance to win or to even take more money just for the sake of ‘I’m at the last quarter turn of my career,’” Grilli told 93.7 The Fan’s John Phillips in a radio interview, according to broadcaster Joe Starkey.
So, reading between the lines, in leaving Pittsburgh “you might even have a chance to win,” according to Grilli. Now, with 20 consecutive losing seasons, Grilli’s probably absolutely right. That being said, it’s still probably not the best idea to admit the franchise that’s signing your checks is hopeless.